Cochrane RCMP is happy to report that an arrest has been made concerning a lengthy investigation involving mail theft in the rural area around Cochrane.
Corporal Troy Savinkoff says the investigation goes back to early January when they were made aware of an increase of mail theft around the outskirts of Calgary and Cochrane. "Our detachment became aware of an increase in mail theft with a lot occurring around Lochend Road, Burma Road, Bearspaw Road, down into Highway 8 and Rolling Range Road, and other various locations. As a result, we started to look at potential suspects who may have been involved, and that is when we became aware of Mr. Forrest."
Due to the hard work by the Cochrane Crime Reduction Unit, the Southern Alberta Crime Reduction Unit, and Canada Post, Cpl. Savinkoff was happy to say that thirty-three year old, Mark Adam Forrest of Calgary was arrested yesterday (March 6) in Calgary on outstanding warrants for approximately 52 charges. "We have conducted a great amount of investigational work into the thefts as they occurred, as well as the subsequent fraudulent use of some of the items that were stolen from the mail. As a result of all these efforts, we were able to get many warrants for Mr. Forrest's arrest which we were able to execute."
Corporal Savinkoff shares besides the 52 charges already facing Forrest, they are anticipating more in the coming days. "It is a lot of charges now, and there will be a lot more by the time we are done. We believe Mr. Forrest represents a very significant amount of the rural mail thefts in our area for the past few months."
Charges facing Forrest include identity fraud, fraud, possession of stolen property, breaching conditions of release, use of stolen credit cards, and stealing of packages. "Some of the tactics we discovered he would do are pick up people's delivery notice slips for packages, and he would go into Canada Post utilizing forged documents and pick up parcels people were waiting for. He was also utilizing credit card information and using fake IDs to commit other crime."
While mail theft does occur in around Cochrane, Corporal Savinkoff states in his ten-year history of Cochrane law enforcement this is probably the most prolific case the detachment has dealt with about mail theft. "It is not something we see a huge rash of; sometimes we get a little bit more around Christmas, and then it dies away, but this was a lot in comparison to what we normally have."
When it comes to safeguarding yourself, Savinkoff has some tips that will help. "The things residents can do is pick up your mail more frequently and not leave a large amount of mail inside your mailbox especially if you know a package is arriving... don't leave it stored in the boxes. The public should also be aware that if they do see their box tampered with to make sure we are notified. We have observed in our investigation that in a lot of these cases where break-ins to these boxes occurred we received very few reports at times about them and having that information and intelligence is very important."
Forrest will be taken before a Justice of the Peace regarding his release, and a new court date will be determined at which time we will provide an update to this story.
The Cochrane RCMP is committed to increasing community safety by using a crime reduction strategy that focuses on identifying repeat offenders, gathering intelligence, and conducting enforcement initiatives.